Last January, Jen McCloskey, owner of Tru Bleu boutique, arrived back in Barrington after attending a trade show and decided she needed a bigger space.
This, she said, was because she had ordered new merchandise on her trip and felt she needed to grow.
At the end of May, McCloskey began packing up her 890-square-foot shop on Lageshulte Street and moved to a 1,400-square-foot space at 708 S. Northwest Highway. Although she will miss the quaint Lageshulte Street location, McCloskey said she needs the additional space.
“I loved it because it was very boutique-y, but I just outgrew it,” said McCloskey of her old shop. “I just needed more space, so that part has been great.”
McCloskey opened the new Tru Bleu on June 17.
Her new shop includes two large dressing rooms, which she said are a huge improvement over the one small room she used to have. She also added a sitting area in the back.
McCloskey said she likes that the new location is close to where three of her four children attend school.
“So that helps me with being a working mom,” she said.
Tru Bleu offers clothing, jewelry, and accessories like scarves and handbags. McCloskey started Tru Bleu four years ago and initially sold just jewelry, but has expanded her inventory. The shop is now 50 percent clothing.
Last March, on a spring break trip with her family to California, McCloskey visited several boutiques to get ideas for new lines and display layouts.
“I’m always on the hunt for unique and cute lines that not everyone has,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense in a small town to have the same lines.”
Recently, McCloskey started selling jeans, an item she never carried before. Her popular charm bar, a display of trays featuring pendants and charms of all shapes and sizes, remains at the center of the store.
A native of Barrington, McCloskey said her sister, Kerry Steiner, inspired her to start Tru Bleu when she moved back to the area from Pittsburgh.
Steiner, who now lives in Denver, owned a home decor shop on Lageshulte Street and offered her sister a small boutique area inside her shop. McCloskey eventually moved into her own space next door.
“That’s how it started, so I honestly have to thank her,” McCloskey said.Tags: shopping